Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2020

17 Games

To me, this is a crazy number of games for the NFL to play in one season:
As we stand on the verge of another decade of labor peace, I can’t get that out of my head, and my reasoning is simple. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve discussed everything from the revenue split to pensions to how individual contracts will work under a reformatted NFL schedule, and the main thing is still the main thing.
My belief is the reason why opposition against the current CBA proposal has persisted lies therein. It’s the 17th game. Period. End of story.
It’s been clear from the start that players are leery about the idea of extending their season—creating another set of car crashes in a system that already called for 16 of them. And a lot of them knew that the owners’ strong desire to do that, in addition to their concern over further delaying the broadcast negotiation, created leverage.
So some players wanted the union to push for more, in just about every category.

You want 17 games? Fine. Then it’s on our terms.
And they did get more in some areas. The money in this deal is good, and if the goal is, “Let’s keep getting rich!” then the deal the union’s done is totally fine. But if you were looking for a game-changer, then this really isn’t that.
The franchise tag system is the same, as is the vesting schedule. There were tweaks to rookie contracts and the funding rule, but problems with those (team control over players for six or seven years, a crutch to use in not guaranteeing contracts) aren’t going away. And specific to the issue of 17 games, there are problems. The max number of padded practices in training camp was cut from 28 to 16, but offseason and in-season rules didn’t change.
The impact of an NFL game in an American city is easy to measure. On game day, revenue pours in. People spend their cash like it's water. Adding just one more home game per year, every other year, means more of the same. More people through the gates, more butts in seats, more of everything.

However, it means shorter careers and more injuries for the players. I hope they get a larger piece of that pie. I think they're getting too little as it is in relation to what the owners are walking away with every home game.

It's just my mathematical bias speaking, but an uneven number of games throws me off a bit. If anything, I would cut the number of pre-season games to two and I would add two more bye weeks into the current 16 game season. I wouldn't even keep the 16 game season. If I could, I'd knock it back to 12.

You would get less football. But you'd get fewer injuries, and guys would play longer. No one would like my idea, but there it is.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

They Will Cheat Again

It's a shame to see Rob Manfred destroy the credibility of baseball and all in the name of keeping two big money franchises happy:
The stripping of victories and championships is a punishment used in college sports when teams are caught in cheating controversies, but the same will not happen in Major League Baseball. 
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on Fox Business on Wednesday and said the league will not strip the Houston Astros or Boston Red Sox of their World Series titles after sign-stealing scandals (h/t ESPN). 
He said the league will honor the "long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened." 
While they won't lose their 2017 crown, the Astros were certainly punished. 
MLB stripped them of their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, fined them the maximum $5 million and placed one-year suspensions on manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Cheating is as old as baseball, and so are issuing severe repercussions for said cheating. They go hand in hand. You bet on baseball, you throw a game, you get caught, you're done. You cheat and you get caught, you should--and the operating word here is should--forfeit your victory or title. And while we like to think of baseball as an exercise in using every available option to get an advantage against an opponent, we rely on a loose concept called "fairness" to regulate the game. 
Manfred should think about the franchises that were cheated. Instead, he worships at the altar of the Red Sox. The devil with him, he's supposed to be impartial.
Baseball has been tinkering with its own rules for the last few years because interest in the game is waning. However, taking a little longer to throw a pitch was one of the relative handful of options that would allow a player to cheat while still keeping the game fair. That's what is being ignored here. Teams started stealing signs almost as soon as the players began using them. What wasn't fair about the whole deal was that they were not relying on the skill of the players on the field--like a runner on second base--but on the team's employees and on cameras. That rendered everything unfair.
When a player on the field or a coach steals a sign--that's fair. Baseball has long accepted that.
When some dudes scattered throughout the stadium are using spy camera and trash cans to signal hitters, that's unfair.
You won fairly by stealing a sign, fairly? Congratulations. That's baseball.
You won in an unfair manner? Too bad, you forfeit your victory.
Really, it's not that difficult. The overall problem hasn't been solved. The punishment did not fit the crime, and franchises will find a way to utilize their facilities in order to cheat (I'm thinking of how the Minnesota Twins used to turn on the fans in the outfield when opposing teams were up to bat!) If you don't take away their ill-gotten gains, they're going to keep doing it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bob Knight is Crazy

Thousands and thousands of words have been written about Bob Knight. What nobody seems to understand is that he's crazy:

With Knight, the ironies and contradictions always wreathed around each other. The same man who demanded discipline from his players, showing so little impulse control himself. The figure who demanded unwavering loyalty from those around him, quick to excommunicate friends from his inner circle and turn on allies (read: Mike Krzyzewski, among many others). The coach who sometimes spoke in the most profane terms imaginable, prudishly forbidding the Assembly Hall crowd from chanting BULL-SHIT. The teacher who stressed attention to detail, going about his own business with active disdain for nuance.

Really, if you reduce every anecdote, every public statement, everything Knight has ever done down to one thing, it all makes sense. He's a out-of-control lunatic. How is he even allowed to own a gun or drive a car? I've never understood this.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Megan Kalmoe is Pulling For You, America

Oh, my word:

"My request to everyone who is fixated on s--t in the water: stop. Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us," Kalmoe wrote in an essay for theGuardian.

The 2012 bronze medalist in quadruple sculls noted that it does no good to complain about the water quality and that there have been similar concerns about the host cities of each of the past few Olympic Games. While the pollution is an issue (not just for the Summer Games, but for everyday life in Brazil), she is just thankful Rio has put in a lot of time, effort and money to host the Olympics.

Now that the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 are just days away, the 32-year-old Kalmoe doesn't want to talk about the water quality. She is ready to compete: "If you are that insecure about where we stand, America, let me be the one to say it. I'll say it, if it will allay your fears and put some of these issues to rest: I will row through s--t for you, America."

Do we really need to censor the word "shit" here? I don't think that we do. I think that these will be the Olympics where a lot of cowardly people stayed home. The bravest and the best of us are headed to Rio. Whiny ass titty baby bitches need not apply.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Baylor University Won't Do the Decent Thing

Baylor University has thus far refused to release anything resembling a written report that would cover a slew of recent sexual assaults and convictions. It refuses to acknowledge that there is a serious problem and we know this because they won't even pretend to be transparent and honest about the investigation into what happened to derail the athletic program:

The former Baylor president Kenneth W. Starr complained that he had never seen it. Baylor’s alumni association called for its release. The Big 12 Conference has asked for it — twice.

But there is one problem. It — a written report of an investigation conducted by an outside law firm in the wake of several sexual assault allegations and convictions involving Baylor football players — does not exist.

“Various voices have called for the release of the ‘full report,’” the university’s interim president, David Garland, wrote in June after the Board of Regents demoted Mr. Starr and fired the football coach Art Briles.

The lawyers’ report, however, “was delivered in the form of an oral presentation that fully and comprehensively presented the individual and aggregated findings and the evidence supporting the findings,” Mr. Garland said.

Baylor’s decision to forgo a comprehensive report — after an investigation that granted the lawyers what the university called “unfettered access,” more than 65 interviews and one million pieces of information including emails and personnel files — has frustrated not only the supporters of the punished administrators but transparency advocates, who wonder about the impartiality of the lawyers the university hired to investigate itself and whether Baylor is withholding information publicly to protect itself from criticism, lawsuits or both.

Getting rid of Ken Starr was a good start, but the university needs to realize that a lack of transparency and accountability only leads in one direction--downwards, into a spiraling morass of lawsuits, negative media coverage, and banishment for the athletic program. 

The Big 12 needs to suspend Baylor until a report is produced. Period. End of story.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Texas Rangers Need a New Stadium

The shelf life for a baseball stadium is now about 25 years:

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas Rangers and the city of Arlington Texas are set to announce that the Rangers will soon be getting a new, retractable-roof ballpark to replace their current home, Globe Life Park.

Their current lease on Globe Life expires in 2024 and can be ended a year early by the club at its discretion, but Grant says the new ballpark will be up and operating before that. He says that construction of the park would be subject to an election by Arlington voters, likely to approve the dedication of sales taxes and other public revenues to the project. Ownership of the park would be split between Arlington and the ball club.

Globe Life Park, previously The Ballpark at Arlington, opened in 1994. That was relatively early in the stadium building boom of the 1990s-2000s, making it tied for 11th oldest among current ballparks. Age, however, is not so much of an issue as the park is in fine shape. Nor is location, as Arlington has been and remains the sports stadium capital of the Metroplex and continues to have multiple projects in the works making it a sports and entertainment destination.

Rather, the issue is heat and the depression of attendance and revenues the current open-air stadium experiences in the hot, hot summers of north Texas, even when the Rangers are winning. When the Ballpark at Arlington the cost of a retractable roof was seen as prohibitive and the technology of such beasts was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. As such, the choice to eschew a roof was understandable, even if has led to a couple of decades of Rangers fans sweltering in sometimes dangerous heat.

They didn't know it was hot in Texas in 1994? They spent $191 million dollars to build it and it is still in good shape. Someone somewhere probably knows how to retrofit and cool a stadium for way less than the nearly a billion dollars it will take to replace a perfectly good ballpark. I realize that they're never going to accept the concept of global warming in Texas, but, honestly--what a waste of resources.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Who Else is Tired of Curt Schilling?

If you're Curt Schilling, and you're already on thin ice, why would you get yourself fired like this?

On Wednesday evening, ESPN announced it had terminated the MLB analystfollowing repeated political discourse on his feed, which some tabbed as hate speech. Said the company in a statement: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

Schilling met with ESPN management on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., as he was scheduled to work Baseball Tonight on Wednesday night. The company declined to say the executive that delivered the news, but no such decision would be made without the approval of ESPN President John Skipper and ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Production John Wildhack.

For those unfamiliar with how we got here, Schilling apologized last September for his tweet comparing the number of Nazi sympathizers in Germany to the percentage of modern Muslim extremists. That tweet prompted ESPN to remove him from its Little League baseball coverage. He was then removed from ESPN’s postseason coverage following an exchange with editors of the sports blog Awful Announcing.

If your political activities and beliefs--which don't have anything to do with calling baseball games unless you've run out of ideas--have gotten you in this much trouble, the best thing to do is to decide whether or not you want to have a job.

Do you?

Then don't do stupid shit like this because, hello, it's 2016, nobody cares about your free speech bullshit, and when they fire you, you're not a victim. You're just dumb.

Really, these things are not hard to figure out.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where Was Warren Sapp's Fall Guy When He Was Beating Up Prostitutes?

The utter lawlessness of the National Football League continues unabated:

While wearing his Hall of Fame jacket, Carter told them:

“Y’all not gonna all do the right stuff. I gotta teach yall how to get around all this stuff too. If you gonna have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail.”

In an interview with ESPN, Chris Borland, who retired because of concussions, mentioned that a veteran player told them to get a fall guy so they could skirt legal trouble. It appears that player was Carter, with Warren Sapp by his side. Sapp is probably not who the NFL wants modeling behavior for rookies, since he was recently charged with domestic violence.

Cris Carter had to have had a fall guy when he played in Minnesota all those years ago. It was likely third lackey from the right when he entourage entered the strip clubs of downtown Minneapolis. I'll see if I can dig up any of those photos.

Doesn't anyone think before they speak at these things? Who was the clown who didn't speak up when Cris Carter boasted (because Cris Carter not boasting is a thing that I cannot imagine not happening) about teaching the rooks about the whole legal fall guy strategy for dealing with the people who are going to focus on the NFL player who is throwing money around in the club?

Here's what they're never going to say to the rookies--go get a house. Not a condo, not an apartment--get a house. When you own a house, mow your own lawn and rake up your own leaves. Spread some fertilizer around. Everyone will see you doing this. When you want to be up in the club with your boys, go home and work in your yard instead. There is no possible way you can get into any kind of legal trouble when you are on your own property taking care of how it looks. You will quickly develop a reputation as a player who plays the game the right way and as someone who is a leader in the community. Sports writers eat that shit up left and right. And if you take all the money you would have wasted in the club and put it into a good riding lawn mower, you'll never have a problem in the NFL again.

Don't go to the club, rookie. Get your ass to a John Deere dealership. Get the one with the leaf picker upper, especially if you buy a house with oak trees.

Oh, but I forgot. Warren Sapp was actually chosen to speak to the rookies? What was he doing there in anything other than his jumpsuit?

Here's a man who beats women and goes bankrupt and loses his only lucrative post-NFL gig, all within a few years of retiring. I think he was the one Cris Carter was talking to, not the rookies. How passive aggressive can you get? 

Hey, don't do what he did, rookies. Here's Sapp to tell you how to make some better life choices. I think the effect of being led onto the stage by his probation officer would have had more of an impact, but oh well.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Matter of Decorum

Apparently, there are rules about press boxes. I wish I could think of another example of something like this, but it sounds like an isolated incident.

Then again, if Bobby Hebert knew the rules, and then broke the rules, doesn't it make throwing him out of the press box just another ridiculous exercise in self-importance?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Excuse Me, But Why Aren't You Playing Hockey?

You know, it sure would be nice to watch some hockey.

It would be a wonderful way to celebrate the onset of fall and the coming of winter. It would be a great way to say goodbye to October to be watching some hockey right now. The National Hockey League season is now, officially, cancelled through the first of November. They're going about things as if there's no lockout on their website. Players are signing deals to play overseas. We're talking about the AHL? We're talking about prospects? We ought to be seeing games. But we're not. And that's fine. Nobody is going to lose their mud over a few hundred missed games.

Come the end of November, well. People are going to start wondering what's what. People--fans--are already kind of wondering what's going on. How smart is it to start the season with people perplexed as to why the deals offered by the players aren't even being entertained right now?

The NHL has decided to just blunder through and see how it can screw the players. Because, when there's a strike, it means the players are trying to get more money. When there's a lockout, it means that the owners are trying to screw the players. That's generally how that works. How dumb do they think we are?

This time around, it probably isn't going to work. It's going to further alienate the fan base of hockey and drive people from the sport. How smart is that?

You know, Gary Bettman thinks he's a smart man. I'm sure he is a smart and powerful man. But I think he overestimates the shelf life that professional hockey has right now. There are people who are never going to leave it. And then there are people who are just annoyed with the drama. How smart is it to test these waters and take people to their breaking point?

Not very.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USC Can't Beat Stanford

This was one of those games that you watch with a great deal of trepidation. I really thought that USC was going to be able to win at Stanford and continue holding on to their Number Two rating. As of tonight, are they even a top ten team? Really?

It just did not look good. USC could not get anything going up and down the field. The passing game was awful. They lost two running backs. This is the game where there were three interceptions thrown in a role--something I don't remember ever seeing, although I'm sure that it has happened.

At any rate, USC is going to tumble in the rankings, and so you have to ask--is Stanford that good? Probably not. But, against USC, Stanford has been really, really good. Tonight, it wasn't even close. Stanford should have won by twelve or more, and if they had had a kicking game, they would have.

Stanford's David Shaw outcoached Lane Kiffin, and that's the real story here. You have to give Shaw credit because nobody else will.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Sad Demise of the Houston Astros Franchise

The Houston Astros have jumped the shark on this one. What used to be a relatively proud baseball franchise has sunk to a new low. Only a team mired in suckage would contemplate giving a 50 year-old man who hasn't pitched in five years a place to chuck a few mercy pitches. Baseball is a game where sentimentality goes to the showers and then home to a plate of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? Baseball isn't about letting some old guy have a few throws for old time's sake.

Roger Clemens should definitely be allowed to pitch again. He won his case, he beat the rap, and he personifies the baseball credo--if you can get away with it, keep doing it. This is how Bud Selig runs the league. How 'bout we do Mindy McCready night and Roger can throw a few pitches while they play her old songs and then they can hand out bobbleheads that say "not a douchebag" on them?

When you have to say that what you're doing isn't a publicity stunt several times in one interview, you're making it a publicity stunt.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

All Anyone Cares About is Football

The downward spiral of Andy Reid's son Garrett has been on the radar for a while now; Garret's death probably didn't surprise anyone, but, then again, maybe it did. I would think that, in the Reid family as in any other family, attempts were made to reach out and help their son. I do not know the particulars.

I do think that speculating on what is best for Reid and the football team that he coaches is also a useless endeavor. He has chosen to stick with the business at hand and to continue working the grueling hours of an NFL head coach. His family can go to hell, apparently.

What does it say about a man's values system when he can bury a son and go back to work the next day? Is he really that tough, or is he running away from having to deal with his choices?

The commenters seem to think he's tough and, hey, GO EAGLES. What a disgrace.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Boomer Does Not Like Tebow

I think Mr. Esiason is out to do two things: get his name out there and then get his name out there some more, hopefully in a way that will get people talking about Boomer Esiason in a way that benefits Boomer Esiason in a way that would probably suggest that Boomer Esiason knows something about how football is played, and this is especially relevant since Boomer Esiason hasn't played decent football since, well, 1997.

You see, it's all about Boomer. And that's fine. He was a good quarterback; not a great one. Jay Schroeder, taken in the 1984 draft after Esiason, has exactly one more Super Bowl win than Boomer, and you don't see him making an ass out of himself at the drop of a hat, now do you?

If Tim Tebow can't play, he won't. It really is that simple.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Biggest Thing in the World

Is there a reason why I don't care about any of this?

I am a winter olympics sort of person; I have never followed the summer olympics.

False controversies like this really do not interest me, either. There HAS to be drama, so they add fake sound effects and try to tell the "human emotion" and "popular interest" stories in manners outlined above.

It is contrived to think that a soccer player would make a stand on Twitter against an announcer, and do so out of some sort of need to be honest. If threatened with expulsion, the comments would be pulled down. There is no courage exhibited here; merely a tolerance for social media bitching and carping that extends to everyone at the games. This is not a male or female issue; it's a marketing issue.

NBC is going to take yet another bath on these games. Their coverage has been, and will be, dismal. Why bother?

I guess it is because I am a terrible, terrible sports blogger. I simply do not care.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bill O'Brien Made the Worst Decision in Sports History

You could make the case that there have been people who have made worse career decisions; I am not buying any of those.

Bill O'Brien made a decision to coach at Penn State that was based on honoring the tradition; he is not a bad man for having done so. But, what we now know is that there is virtually no conceivable way in which Penn State can compete in the Big Ten for the next decade, if not more. The loss of all of those scholarships, and the guarantee made by the NCAA to allow players to transfer without having to sit out for a year, means that the floodgates are going to open and the competitive players are going to start leaving, and soon.

They should have taken the 4-year ban. It would have made a clean break from the past and it would have allowed O'Brien to walk with his dignity intact. Instead, Penn State made a decidedly selfish decision. When the stadium is empty, and when the alumni are staying away in droves, this will be more apparent than ever.

How many can he keep? And how long before O'Brien decides that he does not want to go down as a 4-54 coach at Penn State?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who Really Speaks For the Paterno Family?

The legacy of Joe Paterno is, effectively, destroyed. Whatever the report says, the man demonstrated that he valued his football program over all else, especially the rape of children.

It's interesting that Sports Illustrated allows itself to be used in this manner. Every quote referenced to "the family" refers back to the "Paterno" family, and to some mythical idea that the name Paterno still has credibility. The mouthpiece of the Paterno family has traditionally been Scott Paterno, and we know he has an agenda and no credibility.

I don't want to hear any of this nonsense about "forgive and forget" and "let bygones be bygones." I don't have much faith in Louis Freeh, either. But I do believe that anyone who thinks that Paterno was a good guy who was wronged by others hasn't been paying attention.

Where the hell is the NCAA in all of this? Why are they not at the forefront of determining what should be done about all of the victories won by Paterno since he decided to cover up the fact that his top assistant coach was raping children on Penn State property?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I had completely forgotten about Wimbledon, what with the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics this summer.

How daunting must it be to have to hold this tournament in the middle between these two events, and how difficult it must be to live in London and environs right now. Is it possible that this will make this year's tournament better, or worse? I have no idea.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Are They Howling in Beantown?

This may look like a good trade on paper, but does it damage the team chemistry in Boston?

I'm not going to get into whether this makes sense from a baseball perspective as far as bringing in players that can help Boston win; I think it opens up the question of whether or not you trade a popular player who has contributed and what you can expect from fans when you do exactly that.

In baseball, nostalgia and sentimentality end when a player stops being productive. No matter who you are, you're gone if you can't produce. I'm not aware of the inability of Kevin Youkilis to produce for Boston. Are they happy to see him go? Or are they howling for blood?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roger Clemens Got Away With It Again

I guess a congratulations is due to Roger Clemens for, somehow, being found not guilty.

This is not the same as being found innocent, and it is certainly not the same as being found not a douchebag. But, here's the thing--in America, when a jury says your are not guilty, then you're not guilty. I always thought that this case would hinge on the fact that the only person who had a worse character defect than Clemens was his accuser, Brian McNamee. But, the kicker was supposed to be Andy Pettite. If they failed to believe Petitte, then there really was no case. It would have been better to avoid a trial and let the stench of it all hang over Clemens, which is what hangs over Mark McGwire right now.

Roger Clemens is still a liar, a cheater, and a douchebag. Ask Mindy McCready. And he has no business going into the Hall of Fame, either. His money bought him a not guilty verdict. And, for that, I suppose we should be questioning the justice system, but we will not.